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Saving for Retirement

The key to financial security in retirement is to start planning, and saving, as soon as possible.

Today we would like to draw an analogy and start by talking about the perseverance and toughness of marathon runners. This is not about the athletes’ slick physique but it is about their stamina and staying power. Apart from taking part in the actual race, they need to train and run a hundred kilometers a week.  They keep up this commitment and remain determined to last the course despite the aches, pains and injuries, despite the bad weather, despite feeling like getting side-tracked to do other activities. In one word it is about discipline. Now you might be asking how this applies to finance and why is Mediterranean Bank telling us that we need to put on shorts and a tank top and start competing?

Obviously our intention is not to talk about marathons, it is merely the comparison we want to make and share with you.

Saving for retirement is a long, consistent and very specific goal which aims to give you a comfortable standard of living when you finally put down your tools or briefcase for good and start enjoying your deserved retirement after typically 40-plus years of daily dedication to your profession, job or business.

We are quite sure that most of us have, at some point, had that chat with a friend or relative about saving for retirement. It typically starts off with "I just have to think about my retirement and start saving a little". "What are you doing about it?" You are certainly not alone in this; many readers will be feeling rather guilty right now. There is one way of sorting this out and that is to do something about it, right now, without further ado.

The crux of the matter is that, you cannot leave your retirement to chance. It requires specific thought and planning. The basic notion is looking into what amount of money you can put away every month in that virtual piggy bank intended to be opened only when you reach pensionable age. So how do you go about this? Just sit down and do your homework first and then approach Mediterranean Bank who in turn will provide you with options on how to best make arrangements that help you save with this goal in mind.

Mediterranean Bank offers you a Model Portfolio of mutual funds. These funds, selected by the Bank and our partner, Morningstar, offer the opportunity to gain exposure to different asset classes and market sectors, thus minimising the impact of low performance by a particular company or industry. Model Portfolio's funds are managed by experienced and professional fund managers who make investment decisions on behalf of investors. The aim of a Model Portfolio is to maximise returns on your investments while lowering risk over the medium to long term.

Then it will be up to you to be consistent and stick to the long-term plan, not deviating when it becomes a bit painful, not stopping when the going gets tough. Stay focused.

This requires a motivated and determined mind. So the next time you think that it is difficult to start saving, the next time you consider deviating from your retirement savings plan, think of the marathon runner and imagine the peace of mind you will feel in the future. All that is required is a little discipline that you need to apply now.

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you will need at least 70 percent of your pre-retirement income - lower earners need 90 percent or more - to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future.

The key to a secure retirement is to plan ahead and start saving for retirement as early as possible. Failing to do this will leave you in the difficult position of not having enough money to meet your basic needs when you retire. Begin saving and commit to regular payments. Don't compromise on your retirement for anything or anyone.

 

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Faddal għal meta tirtira

Illum se nibdew billi naghmlu paragun u nitkellmu dwar il-perseveranza u l-qawwa tal-atleti tal-maratona. 

Mhux dwar il-fatt li l-atleta jkun irqiq lasta imma dwar l-istamina u l-enerġija li jibqa’ għaddej sal-aħħar. Apparti li jieħu sehem fit-tiġrija nniffisha, irid jitħarreġ u jiġri mal-mitt kilometru fil-ġimgħa.  Ifisser li l-atleta jimpenja ruħu u jkun sod li jagħmilha sal-aħħar, minkejja l-weġgħat u l-uġigħ u korrimenti (jew ‘injuries’) li jista’ jkun għaddej minnhom, minkejja l-maltemp li jista’ jagħmel tul il-korsa, u avolja jkun imlebleb, speċjalment f’xi ġranet, li jagħmel affarijiet oħra. F’kelma waħda, trid tkun dixxiplinat jew dixxiplinata.

Inti u tisma’ dan, aktarx li qed tistaqsi, dan kollu x’għandu x’jaqsam mal-finanzi? Naturalment, il-ħsieb tagħna mhuwiex li nitkellmu dwar il-maratoni. Huwa biss ix-xebh ta’ bejniethom li nixtiequ noħroġu.

It-tfaddil għal meta tirtira jekk jieħu fit-tul u jkun konsistenti u speċifiku itik standard ta’ għajxien komdu għall-bqija ta’ ħajtek wara li terfa’ mix-xogħol. B’hekk tibda tgawdi l-età tal-pensjoni kif imiss, normalment, wara 40 sena jew aktar ta’ dedikazzjoni lejn il-professjoni, l-impjieg jew in-negozju tiegħek ta’ kuljum.

Ninsabu konvinti li l-biċċa l-kbira minnkom, xi darba jew oħra, kellhom diskursata ma’ xi ħbieb jew minn qrabathom fuq kif jistgħu jfaddlu għal meta jirtiraw. Ġeneralment, dak li jkun jgħid “Irrid nibda naħseb għall-pensjoni u allura tajjeb nibda nġemma’ xi ħaġa.” X’se tagħmel? U kif? M’intomx waħedkom li qed tgħidu dan bejnkom u bejn ruħkom. Hemm ħafna ħaddiema, professjonisti u persuni fin-negozju li qed jaqraw u jaqblu magħna. Ħafna oħrajn, konvint li bħalissa, ntebħu li aħjar jibdew jaħsbu minn issa huma wkoll għal meta jaslu fl-età tal-pensjoni tagħhom. Dwar dan kollu, hemm ħaġa waħda li nistgħu nagħmlu – li nibdew mil-lum, minn issa, qabel jgħaddi aktar żmien.

Għall-irtirar tagħna ma nistgħux nibqgħu noħduha kif tiġi. Irridu naħsbu u nippjanaw sew minn kmieni. Għalhekk, tajjeb naraw x’ammont ta’ flus nistgħu naffordjaw inwarrbu fix-xahar fil-karus virtwali tagħna, bil-ħsieb li niftħuh u nużaw il-flus ’il quddiem meta noħorġu bil-pensjoni. Allura, kif irridu nagħmlu eżatt? L-ewwel ma tagħmel, poġġi bilqegħda u agħmel il-kalkoli tiegħek. Imbagħad ikkuntattja istituzzjoni finanzjarja, bħal ma hu Mediterranean Bank, biex juruk x’għażliet għandek u kif tista’ tibda tfaddal bil-mod sa meta tirtira.

Mediterranean Bank joffri Model Portfolio ta’ mutual funds fejn tista’ tinvesti. Dawn huma magħżula mill-Bank u mill-imsieħeb tagħna, Morningstar, u joffrulek l-opportunita’ li tinvesti f’assi f’kategoriji differenti u diversifikati. Dan il-metodu inaqqas ferm il-possibilta’ ta’ xi impatt negattiv li jista’ jkun hemm jekk xi kumpanija jew industrija tmur ħażin. Il-funds f’Model Portfolio huma mmaniġjati minn fund managers kwalifikati u ta’ esperjenza, li jagħmlu deċiżjonijiet ta’ investiment għan-nom tal-investituri. L-għan ta' Model Portfolio huwa li jagħtik lura id-dħul massimu li tista’ tikseb waqt li jnaqqas ir-riskju fuq perjodu medju jew fit-tul.

Imbagħad, fl-aħħar mill-aħħar, kollox jiddependi minnek tkunx konsistenti u żżommx dan il-pjan ta’ investiment fit-tul, mingħajr ma tvarjah mal-ewwel intopp li tiltaqa’ miegħu jew, saħansitra, twaqqfu mal-ewwel okkażjoni ta’ diffikultà li ssib. Importanti li tibqa’ ffukat jew iffukata fuq dawn l-affarijiet. Irid ikollok il-motivazzjoni u d-determinazzjoni li tibqa’ għaddej jew għaddejja u ma tieqafx.

Dan jeħtieġ li tkun motivat u determinat. Mela meta taħseb li diffiċli tibda ġġemma’, jew malli d-darba li jmiss twarrab xi ħaġa jgħaddilek il-ħsieb li tieqaf, aħseb fl-atleta tal-maratona u ġib quddiem għajnejk is-serħan tal-moħħ li se tgawdi la tirtira grazzi għal dan l-isforz li qed tagħmel bħalissa. Kulma trid, ftit dixxiplina miegħek innifsek.

Illum il-ġurnata l-irtirar għandu prezz għoli. L-esperti jistmaw li jkollna bżonn mill-inqas 70 fil-mija mid-dħul ta’ qabel l-irtirar biex ngħaddu. Dawk li jaqilgħu inqas, fil-fatt, jeħtieġu 90 fil-mija jew aktar biex iżommu l-istandard tal-għajxien tagħhom meta jieqfu jaħdmu. Ħu ħsieb il-ġejjieni finanzjarju tiegħek. Biex tassigura irtirar komdu u diċenti importanti li tibda tippjana minn qabel.

L-aħjar li tista’ tagħmel hu li tibda tfaddal għall-irtirar kemm jista’ jkun minn kmieni fil-ħajja tiegħek. Jekk ma tagħmilx dan tispiċċa f’sitwazzjoni iebsa li ma jkollokx flus biżżejjed għall-ħtiġijiet bażiċi ta’ kuljum. Ibda faddal u impenja ruħek li żżomm dawn il-pagamenti regolari u ġemma. Qis li ma tħarbatx il-pjan tat-tfaddil għall-irtirar tiegħek minħabba f’xi ħaġa jew f’xi ħadd.